Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Welcome to My Obsession...

I've recently become really really into this show:

I started watching it a few months ago, but it's been on History Channel for a couple seasons now (I think it's the fourth starting soon). This guy Don (Jersey boy!) goes to various cities and explores the underground, finding tunnels, caves, ruins, etc. People will be living and working as usual and underneath them would be some strange old feature, like Hitler's hideout or Roman ruins, or some such thing. Some even have layers of history built up, so the lowest layer of ruins is the oldest, and so on up. There's entire worlds under pretty much every city out there, remarkably preserved, and so much of it has historical significance. Don is REALLY into it, you can tell he's very educated on the locations before he goes, and then has no fear as he find little holes and decides to climb through and check it out. There's also the occasional "!#$@ this just keeps going!"

The last week in particular, I borrowed Season One from the library. Since you only get DVD's for one week, I've been all Cities, all the time. And now I find that there are Seasons Two and Three out there to watch. And full episodes online! Problem is, I have to watch this show with my full attention..it really is that captivating and fascinating.

I may never leave the house again. Except to start digging outside.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Rubber Ducky, You're the One

Check out the random ducky sighting!

It is an art installation by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman. Apparently he does a lot of larger-than-life installations in Holland. Check out his website here and flip through his project pages. They are pretty crazy :)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Time Wasters

Today we are going to focus on other blogs (which, oops...coincides with Cake Wrecks doing similiar this week). Not just good blogs, but blogs that are useful for killing time. Whether you are killing time at home, at work, driving a car, or on the toilet, these are straight-up time wasters. Most are also good for a laugh, if you need a pick-me-up. Since I already link to my favorite blogs on the right sidebar, I will not list them again. These are ones that I go to occasionally for a quick laugh. That's the key, that it's one quick look and you're done, or you can browse the archives for hours. Fun!

Cute Overload : Cute animals and cute captions and omgit'ssooooocute!

Ninjerktsu : Awesomely drawn comic about a ninja, that is also kind of a jerk.

Photoshop Disasters : Printed materials with images where something just isn't right.

Animals With Casts : The name says it all. Why do animals' casts always have cute pictures on them? To make them extra sad/cute?

Lovely Listing : Funny pictures from listings of houses for sale (Things that make you go "why is THAT in the living room?!").

I Can Haz Cheezburger : Cats with captions that clarify for us what they are thinking.

I lost a good 15 minutes browsing for this picture. Ah kittehs...

Flip Flop Fly Ball : Baseball charts. Really interesting if you are into statistics. And baseball. And especially baseball statistics.

Interactive Top Ten List : An oldie but goodie. There's two top ten lists per week, and readers get to submit all the content for them! (Need proof? Search "ardnax" and you'll find every list I've had my suggestions picked for)

This post took about an hour longer to write that was needed, thanks to me going to all these links and getting distracted (including searching for myself on the Top Ten List to "make sure it still works." Heh.)

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Wine and Cheese

I am going to be eating cheese for a while. I had a Lia Sophia jewelry party, and chose to serve wine and cheese. I even got a book from the library to read up on the subject. I paired up four wines with five cheeses: Romano, Camembert, Fontina, Manchego, and Gruyere. Each had their own distinct flavor, and were really nice with the wines. Of course I had to try every wine too, so I might have had a little too much. But hey, it's a party! I really wish there were pictures of the cheese, but I forgot. Here are the almost-empty wine bottles though. The guy at Stew Leonard was super-helpful; pretty much all the wines were based on his recommendations and my little knowledge. Here is a rundown, using a new made-up scoring system: number of things. Five is the best possible number of things you can get.

First, there was Prosecco sparkling wine from Villa Jaime. I realized later that where I've heard of it: Giada Delaurentis uses it a lot in cocktails on her show. So it must be E-tal-yan. It was paired with Romano and Camembert cheeses. They say the bubbles help distribute the cheese flavor on the tongue. I give this pairing "three and a half things." The wine was a bit dry with the hard Romano.

Here we have a Riesling, which seems to have become popular in recent years. It's not too sweet or dry, as some Rieslings can be. It went with a nice wedge of Fontina cheese. Fontina is a very mild cheese, semi-soft, kind of similiar to mozzerella or Monterey jack, which I happen to enjoy a lot. I will give this pairing "four and a half things."

Next up is a classic Merlot. This wine was recommended by Isreal at Stew Leonard. He said it was their own brand, and don't be fooled by the $6.99 price tag. It was quite good, if you like Merlot. I think I do, and this one was nice, but sometimes they can be too dry. Gruyere was the cheese of choice here, and I'm not sure how much I liked it. It was a bit of a stinky style of cheese, which made it sharp. Other guests seemed to enjoy it though, so I will give this pairing "four things."

Lastly, there is Syrah, a blend of three grapes (hence this particular brand: Menage a Trois). I liked this one a lot. It was very smooth, which for me makes it more enjoyable, for me at least. The cheese with this wine was a big hit: Manchego, from Spain. It's a semi-hard cheese, with a salty but smooth bite to it. Quince paste (a firm jelly made from the quince fruit) is often eaten with it, but I served it with fig preserves, which was awesome. I give this pairing "five things."

I hope you enjoyed reading about wine and cheese as much as I enjoyed consuming them!

Saturday, September 19, 2009


Click here (no you are not being Rickrolled. Except right then.)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

It's My Heart

Well, it's not MY heart, exactly. It's Christopher's. Here he is:

Here he is mowing the lawn, and here he is fishing. He's an accomplished fisherbaby.

Christopher was born with a Congenital Heart Defect (CHD), his mommy is a friend of ours (and a reader of this blog!), Brianne. It's My Heart is an organization that provides "...much needed funding for CHD research, continue our hospital programs to 3 local hospitals that perform open heart surgery, as well as advocacy and promoting awareness of the #1 birth defect, congenital heart defects." Yep, I stole that from the website.

Anyway, this fall, we are participating in a walk-a-thon fundraiser for It's My Heart, to occur here in NJ. If anyone would like to pledge cash money for me, I have my own donation page on the It's My Heart website. Click on this blue link to go to it and donate money to the cause. Any amount is appreciated, it is not per mile or anything. You can also print a donation form and mail it to me. Here is the link to my donation page. Just click anywhere there is blue type.

In addition, if you are going to be in the NY/NJ area on October 4 and would like to participate, you can sign up right from my page: click on My Team Page, and Join Our Team.

Incidentally, Christopher's picture is also at the top of my page with his family in the blue shirts. Go Team Christopher!

Thank you for your support in this matter, and for your continued readership, lovely readers that you are! :)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

One Last Trip

We saw our last baseball game of the season yesterday. Orioles at Yankees, at Yankee Stadium (duh). It was sort of spur-of -the-moment (that's hard to type, with all the hyphens), as we were planning to go to the game Friday, but since Derek Jeter was breaking a record of some sort, the ticket prices, even on StubHub, became too ridiculous for us.
This time, and with my Orioles cap firmly in place, we sat in the outfield bleachers, about 3 seats away from an honest to goodness Bleacher Creature! He even seemed to be the ringleader, what luck! He led everyone on the traditional roll call, where they chant each player's name until he acknowledges them. I took video, but it came out terrible, since I was trying to chant as well. So instead, here's how it went, just louder:

MEL-KY! (repeat)
JERR-Y! (repeat)
SWISH-ER! (repeat)
MARK TE-XIER-A! (repeat)
ROBB-IE! (repeat)
DER-EK JE-TER! (repeat)
A-ROD! (repeat)

I think there were about 12 Orioles fans in attendance. Fortunately there was one a few rows behind us, and I kept turning around to celebrate with him. We got a home run AND a grand slam! And we won, 7-2. Good game! :)

By this time in the season, Nick Swisher (33) has worn himself two nice big divots to keep his spot in the outfield. The groundskeepers must loooove him.

I just took this pic because I liked the way the guys looked with almost matching shirts.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

It's Beatles Day!

Happy Beatles Day everyone! On this day:

1966 - John Lennon and Yoko Ono met in an art gallery.

1971 - John Lennon's LP "Imagine" was released.

2009 - "The Beatles Stereo Box Set" was released. Seventeen discs were included in the set.

2009 - "The Beatles - Rockband" game was released.

I think calling it "Beatles Day" comes from the release of the box set and Rockband. Both of which look totally awesome. It's a huge day for nerds of all kinds!

Monday, September 07, 2009

Time for Things to Happen

It's that time of year again: September. Summer's ending, Fall is beginning, school starts, baseball ends, apple season begins (yum!). September no longer means the start of a school year for me, but since it did for so long, the month still has a gray cloud over it. I've always had a love/hate relationship with back-to-school sales. Shiny new binders and clean notebooks have such a nice allure, but mean you will soon be using them to write down NOTES at SCHOOL. Ugh. Nowadays I just give these things a cursory glace to admire them, then quickly remember I have no more use for such things, give thanks, and continue to go about my Adult Life.

Seriously, how awesome are these?!?!

So I will make the best of September. The only good thing about it is the weather: it's not too hot or too cold, but then you still get the occasional really hot day. Does anyone else have September stories? This Labor Day weekend was particularly nice, I hope everyone got to go out and get some sun while it lasts!

Wednesday, September 02, 2009


Look how pretty! The farm has a row of giant sunflowers growing along their front fence. Last night (after these pics) someone parked next to them and stole at least a few. Jerks.